I use cloth diapers because I am frugal. My husband would use the word cheap. Regardless of the term used, I am always looking for the least expensive way to do things. Unfortunately, this has occasionally meant that I have not gotten the best value for my money. The same was true when I first began to use cloth. I really didn’t want to spend a bunch of money up front, so I tried some cheaper options first, but it is going to cost me more now than it would have if I had just bought all in one diapers in the first place.
When I started cloth diapering, I decided to try my hand at making my own diapers. After all, I had a bunch of fabric already. I located a free pattern online and went to work. I made 3 or 4 diapers to start. I used flannel and fleece, in the hopes that the fleece would act as a waterproof layer. And for a time, it worked, sort of. Then at Christmas time, my dad was holding my youngest daughter when she peed, all over him, through the diaper. Clearly, my first attempt was not working.
Next, I tried Wal-Mart’s cloth diapers. These did work substantially better than my homemade diapers, but not well enough. First, they constantly leaked out the sides. Then, when washing, the Velcro never stayed put and I always ended up with diapers stuck together. In addition to that, the Velcro became less sticky very quickly so the diapers were constantly coming off, often assisted by the child wearing the diaper.
Finally I bought some Flips. I started by purchasing a few used ones. These fit just about every need. They had snaps which made it much more difficult for the diapers to be intentionally removed so I have fewer stripping incidents. The snaps also prevented the issue of the diapers sticking together, plus snaps don’t wear out like Velcro. The Flip system is also substantially easier to manage than the Wal-Mart system was. Lay the insert in, snap the cover and you are done. Plus, everything dries fast because it’s all separate pieces.
Then, I decided recently to try a couple of all in one diapers. I ordered 2 Swaddlebees Simplex One Sized All In One diapers, plus I received a free all in one of a different brand. I have to say, I really like the simplicity of the all in one diaper. It does take a bit longer to dry, but not as long as I had feared. And the ease of not having to unfold inserts to wash, not having additional pieces to hang and fold, and not having to worry about shifting inserts as the baby wiggles and twists around is so wonderful. I really like the all in one option. It is the easiest cloth diaper I have used.
When I started sewing those first cloth diapers, I wanted a simple system, but my frugal nature wouldn’t let me spend a lot of money on it. But in the end, I ended up spending more time and money on things that didn’t work for me. And now, I am going to be spending more money on more diapers to get exactly what I wanted to begin with. Cloth diapering has still saved me quite a bit of money since I am not buying disposables, but I would have saved more if I had just started out by purchasing the all in one diapers.